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Cardigans how to eliminate the frump factor

Cardigans: How to Eliminate the Frump Factor

This is the year of the cardigan sweater.  Short, long, embellished, patterned, tailored, flowing, trendy, colorful, neutral, you name it, it’s out there!  How fabulous, right?…or maybe not!

While cardigans are extremely functional, they are also dangerous.  It doesn’t take much for a cardigan to go from adorable and pretty to downright frumpy.

You often hear celebrity stylists say rather nonchalantly, “Oh, yes, just add a little cardigan over it, and you’re all set!”  Then they leave it at that with no direction!  Yikes!  So, you go out and buy a cardigan, toss it on over a blouse, tank or dress and take a look at yourself in the mirror, and who’s staring back?  Not some trend-setting celebrity but your elderly grandma or, worse, Mr. Rogers!

Don’t give up!  While cardigans might be tricky, they are very doable, and they can be flattering (not to mention practical).  Let’s look at a few do’s and don’ts.  Of course, there are exceptions to each of these rules but, in general, avoid cardigans with:

*Rounded, jewel necklines (unless it has pretty detail like this one that makes it look like a v-neck OR you have broad, square shoulders (which helps when wearing a cardigan)).  For someone like me with narrow sloped shoulders, cardigans with round necklines can make me look dowdy in an instant!

*Boxy designs on a curvy body (unless you want to look like…yup…a box).

*A band at the bottom – unless the band is purely decorative and doesn’t squeeze your hips (or you are very slim in the hips and can handle added focus there).

*Too long or flimsy and, even worse, belted.  You can easily look like you are wearing your bathrobe (yes, even Katie Holmes can look bad in this style!).  This is especially true when wearing a dress.  Opt for something short like this:

*Never button the sweater all the way or you risk looking like Lisa Lubner on Saturday Night Live (am I dating myself?).  Leaving it slightly open at the top and bottom creates a diagonal line that is very flattering:

Now, go out and purchase as many wonderful, flattering cardigans in all your best colors as you can.  I’ve learned from past experience in the fashion world that many great styles are here today, gone tomorrow, so stock up on a valuable classic item like this while you can.

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